See below for information on: 1) Work-sharing resources; 2) Phone calls to faculty who had to apply by phone; 3) Problems creating a new account; 4) Victims of unemployment fraud; 5) Snail mail from NJDOL; 6) Responding to follow-up emails; 7) Setting up direct deposit; and 8) The union’s work-sharing loan program
Q&A Session about Work-Sharing and Filing for Unemployment
Thursday, April 29, 3:30 p.m. | Click here to RSVP
Below you’ll find a growing collection of information about work-sharing to address the many questions that our faculty face. A number of you at the end of the application process are getting mail from the NJDOL (that’s good news!). Too many of you are facing unexpected problems. Look at each section below and read the ones that apply to you. And if you are having problems, please try to attend the Q&A session (click here to RSVP) we’re holding today with representatives of University Human Resources (UHR).
1. Work-Sharing Resources
Here are some helpful resources for participants in work-sharing to get started applying or find answers if they run into problems:
- Instructions to Check Your Claim Status
- UHR’s Updated Unemployment Filing Instructions
- Our Union’s Annotated Unemployment Filing Instructions
- UHR’s List of Communications You May Receive from NJDOL
- Union Form to Report Problems with Applying
- Union Form for Faculty Who Applied via the Automated Phone System
- Instructions for Selecting Direct Deposit
2. Phone Calls to Out-of-State Faculty or NJ Residents without State ID who Had to Apply by Phone
We are dealing with a major snafu with the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL). Contrary to the process they agreed to, the department is having agents call everyone on our list of work-sharing participants who had to apply by phone because they don’t have a New Jersey driver’s license or state ID. This is exactly what we were told would NOT happen when we arranged for these faculty to make their application by completing the automated phone questionnaire.
We emailed all of you who have to apply by phone this morning at around 8:50 a.m., so please refer to that email for details on what to expect. If you can’t find that email, click here to read the message online. If you have any other questions, please to try to attend the Q&A session today at 3:30 p.m. (click here to RSVP).
3. Problems Creating a New Account
Some of you who could apply online are still having a problem completing the application because you can’t set up a new account. We are working with UHR and trying to get you help from NJDOL as we hear about particular cases.
Please try to attend the Q&A session this afternoon (click here to RSVP). Talking directly to a representative of UHR is the fastest way to make sure your case is addressed. We’ve asked you to fill out this Google form and give us as much information as you can remember about the problems you encountered, including where in the process you were prevented from applying and what the error message said. If you have further information about an issue you reported before, please fill out the form again.
It is taking some time to untangle this particular problem, so we are thankful for your patience. And remember: you won’t be penalized if it takes you longer to finish applying. Once you are approved, you will get all the payments for the full duration of the work-sharing program, retroactive to the start of last week.
4. Victims of Unemployment Fraud
On Tuesday, we were told that NJDOL is working on pre-clearing the list of known victims of unemployment fraud submitted by UHR, but we still don’t know their progress. For now, don’t file for unemployment unless you’ve received one of those phone calls. You may, however, receive a phone call from an NJDOL agent in charge of clearing your name. We hope to let you know that you can apply soon. And remember: you will not be penalized for these delays. All work-sharing participants will receive all the payments for the full duration of the program.
5. If You Got Snail Mail from NJDOL
Some of you have started getting the standard mailing from NJDOL to your home address after your claim is approved. This is good news—you will start receiving payments in the coming weeks. Some of the forms you get may have information that is confusing and even ominous, but you shouldn’t worry about these. No action is required. UHR has a detailed list of communications you might receive from NJDOL and whether any action is required of us.
Above all, if you receive any communication telling you to certify weekly for continued unemployment payments or to set up appointments to certify, ignore them. This does not apply to us. Once we are approved, we will receive our payments for the full duration of the program without any further contact. We are not unemployed, so we don’t have to certify weekly that we don’t have a job and are actively looking for work.
6. Responding to Follow-Up Emails from NJDOL to Resolve Issues
Some of you received emails from NJDOL marked “E-adjudication” or indicating that there are “Unresolved Issues on your Claim” that ask you to complete a form. This is a routine email that indicates NJDOL thinks you answered a question incorrectly. You need to complete the form linked in the email and indicate if you answered a question inaccurately.
These “unresolved issues” are almost always the result of people making a mistake with questions on the standard unemployment form that don’t make sense in our situation. Unfortunately, NJDOL doesn’t have a special form for people on furlough in a work-sharing program. Their questions are meant for people who have lost employment. If you keep this in mind, it will help you answer the questions correctly. Here are a few questions that we know faculty have had problems with:
- Are you able and willing to work full time? (please answer “yes”)
- Do you expect to be recalled by this employer? (please answer “no”)
- Are you receiving benefits from a pension or retirement fund (unless you are getting a pension from another institution, please answer “no”; some of you were mixed up because you are contributing to a retirement fund, but you are not receiving benefits from it).
Have the UHR instructions on filing for unemployment handy to help you answer the questions. Unfortunately, though, the follow-up forms from NJDOL ask for some of the same information from the original application, but with different wording. Here is some information you may need for these follow-up questionnaires:
- Employer address: Rutgers University NJ, c/o Corporate Cost Control, P.O. Box 1180, Londonderry, NH 03053
- Employer phone number: (800) 207-6926
- Last day physically worked with employer: 04/17/2021
- Date of separation from employer: 04/17/2021
- Your rate of pay: This is the gross earnings for the last 12 months that the UHR instructions tell you to gather from your myRutgers portal.
- Type of pay: Annual
- Reason for separation: Select “Other” and enter: “Hours reduced—COVID-19-related”
- Please explain why you were separated from your job: Hours reduced—COVID-19-related
7. Designating Direct Deposit for Your Unemployment Payments
If you had to apply by phone because you don’t have a New Jersey state ID, you didn’t have a chance to designate direct deposit as the method for your unemployment payments. Click here to see the instructions for creating a four-digit PIN (different from the one you may have created when you first applied), creating a new account, and changing the payment method.
We have heard from some of you who had problems with the online instructions in step 2. However, the automated phone system seems to have worked for everyone we’ve heard from. So we recommend you skip “Step 2 for Online: Create a PIN” and jump down to “Step 2 for the Interactive Voice Response System: Create a PIN.”
8. The Union’s Work-Sharing Loan Program
We know that the 10 percent reduction in your paycheck today will be hard to deal with if the payments from unemployment are delayed. The union has set up a Workshare Loan Program for members who are suffering short-term financial problems. The loan program requires you fill out a simple Google form to start the process. Please email us at [email protected] if you would like access to the form.
The Loan Committee will review the form for approval, and if required, we will reach out to you for more information. The loan amount would be a paycheck completion sum to recover the 10 percent of your paycheck missing this week due to furloughs. Once approved, we’ll send over our loan agreement and rules, and we can work together on getting your funds to you as quickly as possible.
This process is stretching out, and while we knew we would face unexpected problems, they are frustrating to deal with. We thank you for your patience and persistence. If you haven’t found all the information you need here, email us at [email protected].
Todd and Becky
Todd Wolfson, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Rebecca Givan, Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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